Pay for Your Health? Pay for Your Rights? We say No.

Yesterday the California PUC voted unanimously: PG&E customers who want to keep or restore a safe analog meter on their house will now be required to pay hundreds of dollars, and these arbitrary fees could increase later.

These extortionate fees are imposed even after every CA ratepayer has already paid for the smart-meter program through fees incorporated in past utility bills—and already paid for the smart meter installed or planned to be installed on their house.

Click for KCBS coverage.

The CPUC appears to have been under pressure from the Obama administration and smart grid companies; President Peevey bragged of having had the gushing approval of a recent visiting Administration official regarding the California smart-meter “deployment.”

Strong, clear, and diverse voices have been speaking against smart meters for a number of reasons—many testifying personally to the harm they do—at each and every one of the CPUC’s public meetings for almost two years. Tens of thousands of complaints have been filed with the commission. They receive daily phone calls, emails, and letters, a steady stream of public objection. Experts from many areas have filed their own particular objections.

President Peevey, your conscience is showing.  (Click for KTVU coverage.)

To whom do they answer, these august public servants of the citizens of California?  To the utilities, to industry, and, it would also seem, to the Federal Government.

This decision flies in the face of the 70+ speakers who turned out at the meeting to oppose any fees, and to describe their symptoms, and the symptoms of those too sickened to travel to the meeting in San Francisco. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine told the CPUC in a letter last week that, based on the latest medical research, the smart-meter program should be scrapped entirely. The Santa Cruz Public Health Department produced a report that stated that smart-meter mesh networks pose serious risks to public health–and that existing state and federal regulatory agencies are failing to ensure public safety.

When some electrosensitive individuals in the audience during the meeting began suffering ear pain and headaches from the numerous smart phones and Ipads in the audience, Stop Smart Meters! Director Josh Hart stood up and asked people—mainly from industry and media—to have some respect and turn off their wireless devices. Many did.

Response to the CPUC’s vote was immediate and scathing. The crowd of anti-smart-meter activists began chanting and yelling out “Shame!” as soon as the vote was finalized. Others chanted “Class Action Lawsuit!”

Refuse to pay their protection racket smart meter radiation extortion scheme. Our health, privacy, and safety are not for sale.

File your own complaint now at the CPUC:

CPUC Analog Opt Out (download pdf of CPUC Press Release)

This entry was posted in California, Citizen rebellion, Class Issues and Social Equality, CPUC, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, legal issues, PG&E, radio-frequency radiation, Smart Grid, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Pay for Your Health? Pay for Your Rights? We say No.

  1. Shane Gregory says:

    I am not sure what to think or how to feel right now in the wake of yesterday’s CPUC decision on opt outs. I suppose for a small number it was a victory; but for most of us it was anything but.

    Although the decision doesn’t directly apply to those living in municipal utility areas, my guess is that it will be precedent-setting for pretty much everyone, so we are all going to be affected by it.

    For those for whom privacy is the sole concern, if they can tolerate and/or afford the fee they will be charged to recover their privacy, then I suppose they could have reason to celebrate.

    But for so many reasons it’s cold comfort, especially for those of us with health concerns.

    Extortionate fees aside, an opt out will do virtually nothing unless we live in single-family homes separated by great distances from neighbors AND we have no intention of ever visiting or working anywhere other than our own home. I really cannot think of anyone who falls into this category. Whether we live in single-family homes or multi-family residences, we’re still going to be subjected to RF and “dirty electricity” in our neighborhoods.

    Also, according to some engineers, the RF holes created by the missing meters will require boosters and repeaters to fill them up — meaning nothing will have changed in terms of ambient RF. If this is the case, what do we really accomplish with an opt out?

    I am writing just as a way of thinking out loud, reaching out for ideas and next steps. I think the watchword of the day is “Be careful of what you wish for because you just might get it.” We got it. Now what?

    For a nano-second my heart leapt up and I thought, “Oh good, maybe I don’t have to permanently leave the home I had to vacate 6 months ago because I could not tolerate the headaches, the heart palpitations, the agitation, the misery… Maybe Burbank Water and Power will decide to let me have an analog.” Then I came to my senses and realized that this will very probably not solve my problem. How can I get my neighbors to all opt out? Unless they are ill, they will not be incentivized to do so. Also as renters in a multi-family building we share a feeder cable, so if it’s dirty electricity that’s the problem (or part of it), that’s not going to go away either. The collector antennas, repeaters, backhaul devices, and all the nasty components of the mesh network will still be there. Our schools, our hospitals, our businesses, our friends, and other people in our community will very probably still have the meters in place — so it’s a no win anyway.

    So, with a heavy heart I resume packing my belongings and continue to bite the bullet. I will crawl away from Burbank, my wonderful sweet neighborhood, my home of 23 years, and try to make the tiny apartment in LA City (directly in the flight path) work for now. It’s my only option. And who knows how long it will be before LADWP decides to put up the mesh? They are already deeply involved in ARRA-funded “studies” at UCLA, JPL, and a consortium of other research facilities. And it’s the usual suspects who are heading up this program — not a medical professional in sight.

    What to do? What to do?

    Where do we go from here? What do we ask for? What do we fight for? What is our platform? How do we fix this? Is anybody even remotely encouraged by yesterday’s developments?

    If health is our concern — and it should be, whether we are having symptoms yet or not (think genotoxicity for a minute) — the whole thing needs to come to an end. Now.

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      You are right, the only escape from large amounts of RF radiation is to move way out in the boonies.
      I have friends who live up in Burnt Ranch, in Trinity county. There are no high speed broadband cable or mobile phone networks in Burnt Ranch, and will not be for at least a few years. That means that very few people have wireless routers for internet up there.
      But 8 miles away in Willow Creek, they have fiber optics and broadband cable and mobile phone networks.
      The stupid thing is that many people in Burnt Ranch were forced SmartMeters, even though the meters are indeed transmitting, the data is not being received by the utility, so the meters are transmitting for nothing and all will still be read manually for many years.
      Except of course the people like one of my friends in Burnt Ranch who has a solar and hydro generating system. People who generate their own electricity and also have grid power are not allowed to have SmartMeters because the SmartMeters don’t record customers current being fed back into the local power grid.
      I know a few people here in the central bay area and 1 in Burnt Ranch that have wi-fi scanners.
      Just the other day I bought a new computer system and router. At BestBuy, all the routers are marketed as wireless routers, but also have 5 ethernet ports. My IT expert told me that, there are no more routers/switches available that used to be sold as “wired”, so go ahead and buy a wireless router and I can disable the transmitter and still use the ethernet cables.
      After getting the whole system set up, my IT friend took out his smart phone, and on it he had a wi-fi scanner. He wanted to test and make sure that my transmitter was indeed disabled. It was, but I found out that there are many people nearby that do have wi-fi, and they all had names, signal strength and whether their networks were locked or not. He also said that there are other wi-fi systems that nobody can ever see with his scanner system, but can be seen with more expensive scanners. Also that there are 2GHz wi-fi and 5GHz wi-fi systems.
      I exclaimed,” I go through all this trouble to have a wired network and my single family detatched house is still being bombarded by wi-fi”.
      I live in a very low density area thickly forested and I don’t have a SmartMeter (never will), but my neighbors have wi-fi and some have SmartMeters, the closest SmartMeter is about 300 feet from my house, but it doesn’t matter, I’m still getting dosed with RF and EMF radiation. This was not the case 32 years ago when I moved to this address, but really, there is no escape from electro-smog. I’ll bet it is 100 times worse down in any city.
      I am not electro-sensitive, but I would love to move to an even more rural area someday where there are no SmartMeters or wi-fi networks within a few miles at least of my dwelling.

      • Paul H says:

        The “opt out” is a mandatory step in reducing rf radiation from your bedroom. If the bedroom is not free of high frequency radiating from the wires then the body is not able to repair itself properly. Just think of sleep like a pit stop in a race. If the “crew” or cells are being disturbed then they will not be successful in repairing the body.

        I have found that eliminating the smart meter, shutting the power breaker off to my bedroom, and shielding against wireless devices has given me the best sleep. Since this experiment I have had a whole new outlook on the dangers of this wireless world.

        • Right. It’s important to remember that even places without smart meters have widely varying levels of RF, AC magnetic fields, and power quality (dirty electricity), resulting in vastly different EM environments from home to home, office to office, and street to street.

          As insulting as a Smart Meter’s specific pulses are to biology, and the punitive opt-out fees are to our budgets, there are many other compounding fields and financial expenses that are within our control. Fully understanding how your power usage affects those around you is critical.

          For example, a recessed fixture with a CFL bulb on a dimmer switch can create a dangerously high field for a person or animal sleeping upstairs.

          Similarly, microwave ovens leak lots of RF and generate a measurable field 30 feet away from the oven, in all directions. You might be up and at ’em (and possibly enjoy getting a quick jolt to start your day), but for someone in the next room on a slightly different schedule, it could ruin their otherwise good night’s rest.

          Make no mistake, PG$E and the CPUC have failed.

          But it’s 2012. It’s time to transcend their cluelessness, get our proverbial and actual houses in order, and buckle our seat belts. Safe travels.

      • Shucks the Explorer says:

        I used to have a wireless router in my house, and noticed my health getting affected by “something.” I was feeling a pressure in my head, I would get rapid heart rate, and had unexplained insomnia.

        Then someone told me it could be wireless. At first, I doubted it, but now over a year later, all those previous symptoms are gone.

        Long story short, this stuff DOES have a health impact, regardless of what the industry tells you. So minimize it as much as you can.

  2. Mia Nony says:

    Looks like the plan is to try to diffuse awareness and buy off the dissent before it grows even more legs.
    What if the number of resisters continues to grow?
    This would eat into PG&E profits even more. In fact if resistance were to continue to grow, a large enough base of refusal could do considerable alteration to the corporate bottom line.
    PG&E estimated that approximately 150,000 customers would opt out, with 1.7% or 90,000 on a list to delay.
    First of all: Language matters, and it was said that this program was in fact voluntary.
    How do customers “opt out” of a non mandatory program, when the reality is really about choosing not to “opt in” in the first place? If people had not been tricked and/or physically forced into what is in fact a voluntary program, then in truth they have never opted in. So an opt out fee is a misnomer, isn’t it?
    In any case, at a conservative estimate of PG&E customers in California who prefer an analog meter, PG&E would bring in an additional sum that is considerable.
    On top of this you supposedly lose out on perks of having a smart meter. However, weight this off against health costs and if neighbouring frequencies don’t still zap you the you are still ahead of the game
    Bear in mind that when they fired meter readers they did not rebate the customers for that revenue stream they no longer had so this is also a case of double dipping for a fee that was already structured into the energy bill, even before the prices were raised for energy costs.

  3. Pingback: UK affirms voluntary Smart Meters while CPUC requires fees to opt-out « Burbank ACTION

  4. Mia Nony says:

    Remember films of bridges being destroyed by earthquake frequencies, by the harmonics that are set in motion by earthquakes. Recall those images of bridges swaying and twisting until they snap?
    EMF frequencies cause harmonics.
    Frequency conflict creates harmonics, whether it’s on power transmission lines, which can precipitate grid collapse, or on house wiring or our own natural body wiring. Anywhere you have harmonics this causes rapid degeneration of all components, and in buildings this means metal.
    Google Andrew Michrowski on this. It is already happening to a dangerous degree to nuclear power plant pipes, caused by wireless frequencies.
    Name a structure that does not depend on metal. Isn’t metal part of almost all structures? Beams, nails, screw, components of electrical systems?
    That’s why harmonics are illegal in electrical codes.
    BC Building Code, Section Four forbids loss of structural integrity from vibration sources not accounted for when a building is not designed with these taken into account. Vibrations are caused by EMF frequencies, something like 1.8 billion times a second.
    Might there not be a way to hold them accountable for these laws?
    Developers and investors who do not care about people or health harm often DO care about being stuck with uninsurable billion dollar investments.
    Maybe its past time to remind engineers and electricians that harmonics radically accelerate corrosion of all metal. It does not matter if it is structural metal or a hip implant or amalgam fillings.

  5. Pingback: California Opt Out, with a Cost | stopsmartmetersbc

  6. zole says:

    Bones and teeth , just like metal.

  7. West Point Grandma says:

    PGE installed their new analog meter at my house on Friday, February 3rd. It is brand new meter Landis + Gyr Type MX single stator electricity meter manufactured in Mexico. The also handed me a very nice plastic coated card that stated among other things “you will see a line-item on your energy statement for the Opt-Out set-up charge, followed by an ongoing monthly charge.” These type of cards take more than one day to draft, print and disseminate to field personnel for distribution.
    The fix was definitely in on the PUC vote on Wednesday. We need to petition for a change in who is eligible to work in the PUC or be a PUC commissioner.

  8. DruiD says:

    I can afford the money but really, really don’t want to pay it. For one, I absolutely hate lining PG&E’s pockets. When I first read the letter, I sent a complaint to the CPUC, and then I found this site. I don’t have any health issues but don’t like being forced. I have solar on the roof, but I’m not off the grid (no batteries) and still have gas heat and stove.

    Most folks in my neighborhood are angry because PG&E had sent contractors to peer into their garages without permission. However, this is not a rich neighborhood (Bayview in SF). I can’t convince my neighbors to opt out when it’s going to cost them a significant amount of money. Even if they are mad, money speak volumes.

    If we can’t prevent the opt out fee, we have already lost in this neighborhood. Are there any lawsuits in the works? What happens if I opt out but refuse to pay their shakedown? What’s the next step? What are the options? What are the consequences?

  9. Julie says:

    ‘Opting out’ of something I never ‘opted in’ to…much like having to ‘opt out’ to be on the national no-call list. Malarky, but I did join that list and am happy to say I don’t get many calls. I am also happy to say that I do not have to pay to be on that list just as I should not have to pay to choose not to have a smart meter installed on my home! I will opt out before the May 1st ‘deadline’ (unless a better option presents itself) & I will pay for the electricity that I use, but I will not pay the ‘opt-out’ fees that they require. If PG&E chooses to cut off my electricity as a result, I will take it to the media. I will not go down quietly. That’s all I can think of at this time. Hopefully, people will join together to dispute this ridiculous turn of events. If anyone has any ideas about the best way to handle this situation, I would be interested in hearing about it.

    • Shucks the Explorer says:

      I got one of these letters, and the odd thing is that I am not on a Delay List as the letter states (never called PG&E, rather I just blocked access to the meter such that it can be read but not physically accessed by Wellington).

      Now PG&E wants to charge me for what I already have? Nonsense! This Peevey guy needs to be fired!

      • Julie says:

        You know, Shucks, now that you say that, I never requested to be put on the Delay List either…I just stopped them multiple times from installing a SmartMeter on our home. Guess that automatically got me on their list! Creepy!

  10. B M says:

    PG&E installed not only my meter, but 10 feet
    from mine is my neighbors all on the bedroom wall.
    My ears have been ringing since they were installed
    however now my husbands ears are ringing. Hopefully
    he will not become ill like I did. my point is that
    I could pay for analog, but since there is another
    one giving off signals just 10 feet from mine, there
    is no chance I could escape it.

  11. Pingback: April is Fight-the-Fees Month | Stop Smart Meters!

  12. ninetyninepct says:

    A question – why do utilities offer or even mention this “opt out” option when we have never “opted in”.

    • They forcefully opted us all in through a corrupt, lazy and ineffective government, and now extort those who democratically exert our right to refuse. This is the mob we are dealing with and never forget it.

    • Craig says:

      The letter from my utility says”
      “Smart meters will replace your existing electric and gas meters. The new meters are not an optional upgrade”

      NOT an optional upgrade means you are going to get them regardless of what you want. So, when a utility installs an inadequately tested piece of equipment that causes you bodily harm they get to extort you into paying to improve your health? I think not. It was the utility that forced these slow-kill mechanisms on us. They should be thankful we who are harmed are not suing them for million$ and gladly put back the analog meter. In fact, they should be refunding us the excess charges for the Smart meter program since we are not participating, and cannot participate.

  13. Craig says:

    Re: Smart-meter Opt-Out Fees

    Dear Judge Yip-Kikugawa,

    I have recently discovered that my health problems – headaches, insomnia, memory loss, decreasing brain function are a direct result of the Smart-meter on my home.

    I have opted-out and the very next day after the analog meter was installed my health
    problems diminished significantly.

    I take serious exception to the ruling regarding paying extortion fees to avoid being
    made sick by inadequately tested equipment that should never have been forced on
    the public in the first place. Especially in light of the tactics and comments coming to
    light from the Peevey e-mails acknowledging health problems and the following:

    In public, the utilities and CPUC have justified the $75 initially and $10/ month fees for analog meters (to have the same thing that customers have always had) by arguing that individuals should pay for the costs they create. In private however, a different story emerges. In e-mails between California utilities and Marzia Zafar, CPUC’s current Director of Policy and Planning, a 15 year utility industry employee including 4 years as a So Cal Gas lobbyist who was involved in the Bill Devereaux Spy Scandal, Zafar tells her utility colleagues:

    “I think if there is not an initial fee your estimate of 2% opt out goes out the door and you’ll have more like 20% or 50% opt out which will then make the whole project that we spent over $7 billion on a complete and total waste.”

    Zafar is saying if they eliminate the initial opt out charge for analog meters, up to half of California’s electric customers may refuse smart meters, given all the publicity around safety and inaccuracy problems, and that needs to be avoided at all costs – by ensuring fees remain unaffordable. This e-mail demonstrates clearly that the opt out fee is intended not to “cover costs” but to suppress choice, prop up a failing and dangerous smart grid and penalize people for disobeying a forced, corporate and undemocratic deployment.

    I have no intention of paying opt-out fees to my utility and told them so in writing on my request for opt-out.

    I suppose they will threaten me with denial of service, but I would expect nothing less from an organization that has so little regard for public health and safety.

    I just wish that I would have connected the dots sooner between the Smart-meters and its effect on my mental condition because I likely could have saved my father-in-law’s life. He committed suicide last year due to untreatable insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, etc. He had one of the most optimistic attitudes of anyone I have ever met, yet he became negative and morose. He was frustrated because his doctor visits produced no answers to help him get well. Based on my experience and comparing it to his, I am sure he became a victim of smart grid technology.

    Although my meter has been replaced, I am flanked by two neighbors and live in a smart grid neighborhood. I’ve noticed that my health problems have diminished to a great degree, but not 100%. I’m sleeping better, RF induced headaches are pretty much gone, my toothaches are gone, my strange ear canal sore has gone away, my energy level has increased, my clarity of thought is better, but I can tell that I am not as good as I should be.

    It makes you wonder how many other people are not feeling up to par but haven’t made the connection to their poisoning by RF Smart-meters.

    I’m convinced that you need to get the Smart-meter off your wiring by going analog even though you have no control over your neighbors. It will make a big difference.

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